was ordered by Major-General Hill, “As soon as you see any movement on the right or left, or hear heavy musket firing, advance also, and storm the creek.” My brigade was immediately formed for the assault; and learning that Brigadier-General Anderson, of Major-General D. H. Hill's division, had crossed the creek above the enemy's works, I was in the act of advancing to storm the redoubts in front of me, when I learned that the enemy had evacuated them. Crossing the creek, and turning to the right, through the woods, I passed Nownilly's Mill, and fell into the road by which the remainder of the division was pursuing the enemy. On the by-road, passing Nownilly's Mill, the evidences of a rout and precipitate flight were most striking. On reaching Cold Harbor, I was ordered by you to take position across the road, connecting with General Gregg on the left, and General Anderson on the right. Before reaching the point designated by you, I encountered the enemy in great force. Colonel Campbell (Seventh regiment) promptly engaged them, and whilst I was placing the remainder of the brigade in position, I received from Major-General Hill an order to move two regiments into action by their left flank, and to hold the other three in reserve. In compliance with the order, the Seventh and Twenty-eighth North Carolina were ordered to take position on the left of the road, whilst the Thirty-seventh, Thirty-third, and Eighteenth North Carolina were held in reserve, in a ravine about one hundred and fifty yards in their rear. Receiving no further orders from you in regard to the reserve, and finding the pressure greater than my two regiments could sustain, the remaining three regiments were placed in action on the right of the road. My brigade held its ground with heroic tenacity, but must have been driven back, by overwhelming forces, but for the timely arrival of reenforcements. The Seventh regiment, having been the first engaged, and having remained continuously under heavy fire, suffered most severely in officers and men. Lieutenant-Colonel Reuben P. Campbell, who might be justly classed among “the bravest of the brave,” fell whilst bearing in his hand the colors of his regiment. Brave and honorable as a man, and skilful as an officer, his loss to the brigade was irreparable. The enemy having been driven from the field, my brigade bivouacked near it. During the march of Sunday and Monday in pursuit of the enemy, nothing noteworthy occurred until Monday afternoon about two o'clock, when I was ordered by Major-General Hill to mask my brigade in a wood to the right of the road. I remained but a few minutes in that position, when the shells of the enemy's artillery commenced to fall near us, and I was ordered to proceed and attack. Having no guide and no knowledge of the enemy's position, I took the direction whence came the shells, which carried me to the right of the road. Forming my line of battle in a cleared field, and advancing, we soon encountered the enemy, and drove them for nearly a mile. This was done under the fire of two batteries--one of which we silenced, and the other of which enfiladed the left of my line. After proceeding about this distance, the enemy's force rapidly accumulated as they fell back, and finding that the enemy extended much beyond my right flank, no further advance was attempted. At dark I placed my brigade in bivouac on the edge of the battle-field, and having reported to Major-General Hill through a member of my staff, was ordered to remain there until daylight, and then return to the point from which I had started into battle the previous afternoon. In this engagement I had the misfortune to lose Colonel Charles C. Lee, of the Thirty-seventh regiment. A thoroughly educated soldier and an exemplary gentleman, whose whole life had been devoted to the profession of arms, the service lost in him one of its most promising officers. During the afternoon of Tuesday I received marching orders, and after proceeding a short distance down the road on which we had previously been moving, was ordered to return to camp. I was returning, when a heavy fire of artillery and small arms on the left showed that an attack had been made on Malvern Hill, and it was clear that our forces were being driven back. Orders were given to me to move in quickly to the support of our forces engaged, and I did so at a double-quick across the fields. On arriving near the field of battle, a staff officer of some of the commands engaged volunteered to direct me to the position in which I could render most service. Under his directions I had posted two of my regiments, and was in the act of posting the remainder, when I ascertained that I had been misled. Taking the troops I still had present with me, I proceeded toward the left and reached a position near to the enemy's batteries, but still too far for my short range guns and in full range of their artillery. Making my men lie on the ground, they remained in the position until the firing from our side had ceased; then collecting my brigade, I returned to my camp of the morning. Thus ended the actual fighting of this memorable week, the enemy having during the night evacuated Malvern Hill. During the whole of it, officers and men alike, had been without cooking utensils or their baggage. My loss was about seven hundred and fifty in killed and wounded, and about fifty in missing. A list of the names having been furnished, a more precise statement in this report is not deemed necessary. Colonels Lane and Cowan and Lieutenant-Colonels Haywood, Barbour, Hoke, and Perdie, all of whom commanded their regiments during the whole or part of the week, merit especial commendation. There are many officers whose good conduct would cause me to take pleasure in making special mention of them, but it is necessary that I confine myself to commanders of regiments, referring, as I do, to their reports for the names of officers under them, who distinguished themselves. I take pleasure in recommending to the favorable consideration of the Government those thus mentioned. My staff suffered in an unusual degree. My Assistant Adjutant-General, Captain W. E. Cannady, had been with me since my appointment to the command of a regiment,
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Foreign accounts of the fight.
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